The Place


Let's Make an At Home Vortex Cannon

The Clark Planetarium Shows Us How
Posted at 1:52 PM, Oct 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-28 15:52:26-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Let’s talk about Vortexes. A vortex is defined as “a mass of whirling fluid or air, especially a whirlpool or whirlwind.”

If you what to harness an air vortex in a small way, Clark Planetarium has a cool at home experiment for you. Let’s make a Vortex Cannon or Vortex Generator.

What You Need:

1 plastic or paper cup.

1 roll of duck-tape.

Rubber bands

Plastic wrap


A pair of scissors or a box cutter

And dry ice

Note – Dry ice can be purchased at most grocery stores. Please use protective gloves and goggles when handling it. And of course, be careful with scissors or box cutters.

How it works:

Step 1: Cut a quarter size hole in the bottom of your cup.

Step 2: On the other side of the cup, put your plastic wrap.

Step 3: Secure the plastic wrap to the cup with first your rubber bands and then with your tape.

Sept 4. Once the cup is secure, carefully put a small put a small piece of dry ice in the cup through the hole in the bottom.

Step 5: Add warm water to the cup through the hole. You don’t have to fill the cup, just put enough water in to cover the dry ice.

Step 6: Once the dry ice starts steaming, gently tap the back of the cup and notice the smoke rings that push through the hole. You will have successfully created a Vortex Cannon or Vortex Generator.

Again, please be careful with the dry ice and the scissors/box cutters. But have fun making smoke rings!

For more information and other fun at home science experiments go to